Leafs Look Bewildered

TORONTO (Oct. 31) — While watching the Maple Leafs get stunningly out–played by the San Jose Sharks in northern–California Monday night (the 3–2 final score did not reflect the lop–sided essence of the match), it occurred to me that the… Read More

Opportunity in Arizona?

TORONTO (Oct. 26) — The worst team in the National Hockey League to begin the 2017–18 season has some colossal number–crunching on the horizon. And you have to think that a rival general manager — at some point — will… Read More

The Power of One

TORONTO (Sep. 18) — At no time since 1967, until now, have the Maple Leafs been one player away from challenging for the Stanley Cup. Just how significant that piece remains is a matter of opinion. In my view, it… Read More

Is It Truly So Difficult?

TORONTO (Aug. 26) — We may — and I stress, may — discover once again this season just how apparently difficult it is to win the Stanley Cup. Toronto Maple Leafs–“difficult” includes not even appearing in the championship round of… Read More

The Flawed Matthews Argument

TORONTO (June 5) — In early–1998, it was announced by the National Hockey League that the Toronto Maple Leafs would be moving to the Eastern Conference after 16 years of geographic displacement in the West. For reasons unexplained, the NHL… Read More

Leafs Should Have a Captain

TORONTO (June 2) — From the inception of the National Hockey League in November 1917 until Feb. 24, 1986, the line remained unbroken. For nearly 70 calendar years — the entire history of the franchise — a trainer with the… Read More

Leafs Need To Extend Lamoriello

TORONTO (Mar. 2) — Exactly how the Maple Leafs will be generally managed beyond next season may or may not be a topic of internal debate at the Air Canada Centre. Lou Lamoriello, destined for the Builders’ wing in the… Read More

Fun With Vintage NHL Jerseys

I DEDICATE THIS BLOG TO THE GURU–MASTER OF NHL EXPANSION, SCOTTY BOWMAN. TORONTO (Dec. 19) — With my son, Shane, in town from Guelph for the Christmas break, I started shuffling through my closet of vintage National Hockey League… Read More

Kessel Fooled Leafs Nation

TORONTO (July 20) — When Phil Kessel told Sportsnet–590 on June 15 that he would likely bring the Stanley Cup to our city, many figured his incentive was to stick it up the old wahzoo of Leafs Nation. The multitudes… Read More

Andersen To Become No. 63

TORONTO (June 26) — On the night of Saturday, Oct. 14, 1967, when the Chicago Black Hawks visited Maple Leaf Gardens to begin the expansion era in the National Hockey League, Johnny Bower started in goal for the home team.… Read More

A Seal, A Baron, A North Star

TORONTO (Apr. 15) — Dennis Maruk was known as “peewee” throughout much of his National Hockey League career. We can also call him “Mr. Defunct” given the teams he played for that no longer exist. The native of Rexdale, Ont.… Read More

Leafs To Become Much Busier

TORONTO (Jan. 6) — A contributing and largely–ignored factor in the strong performance of the Toronto Maple Leafs could be the club’s schedule the past month. Tonight in Anaheim, the Leafs will appear in just their tenth game since Dec.… Read More

Leafs Need To Rehabilitate Bernier

TORONTO (Nov. 27) — It is a timeworn and chauvinistic axiom that repeatedly bears itself: “One man’s gain is another man’s loss.” Run it past either of Jonathan Bernier or James Reimer and he’ll nod heartily. This two–step tango has… Read More

While I’m Thinking of It…

TORONTO (Nov. 24) — Some random observations for a Tuesday night: I will hardly break news by identifying the resiliency of the hockey market here in Toronto. While there’s a limit to just about everything in life, no–such boundary exists… Read More

Leafs May Be Targeting Carolina

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (June 10) — It is common, predictable and widely anticipated. The three–week period before the National Hockey League draft becomes replete with tales of earth–shattering movement between teams that hold the top selections and rivals looking… Read More

Vintage NHL Jerseys

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 25) — With only eight shopping months remaining until Christmas, here’s a wonderful idea for the old fart in your life: Buy him a vintage National Hockey League jersey. I’m serious. He’ll wear it to… Read More

Leafs Empty-Seat Mania

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Mar. 26) — Imagine how destitute the tall foreheads at 60 Bay St. must be today. A paltry 18,366 tickets sold for Monday night’s meaningless National Hockey League game against the Minnesota Wild and the sky… Read More

Leafs Give Their Fans No Chance

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Jan. 5) — I often point out, in this tiny corner, the singular lack of middle ground among fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs. As if the poor buggers have an option. With half of the… Read More
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